A radiotracking study on Bechstein’s bats was undertaken at Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s reserve to assess the impacts of woodland management on these rare bats. A full article by Elizabeth Pimley, Eric Palmer, Giles Sutton, Nick Downs & Johnny Birks can be found in the Mammal Society’s ‘Mammal News’ Summer 2018 Issue 181. We provide a summary and reference list below.
Grafton Wood Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) near Grafton Flyford, Worcestershire is an ancient semi-natural broad-leaved woodland nature reserve jointly owned by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust (WWT) and Butterfly Conservation. During Bat Conservation Trust surveys in 2010 Worcestershire Bat Group discovered a maternity colony of the rare Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii) in Grafton Wood, which lies at the northern edge of this species’ known British range. Subsequently, WWT requested that a study be undertaken to examine how these woodland-dependant bats were using the woodland to inform habitat management practices, which included the creation and maintenance of woodland glades and open rides. The information from the study would enable WWT to adapt any habitat management that could negatively impact on the Bechstein’s bat population and undertake habitat enhancements for this species. Consequently, a radio-tracking study of Bechstein’s bats in Grafton Wood was undertaken by a team of voluntary bat surveyors led by Eric Palmer and Johnny Birks to identify foraging areas and roost sites in and around the reserve. This work was funded by a grant from People’s Trust for Endangered Species.